Sip Trips #132: Celebrations Galore

The Sip Family has been super busy the last couple weeks. So busy, that I’m just now getting a chance to document our recent adventures. Here’s what we’ve been up to since I was last able to write:

A couple weekends’ ago, we celebrated Father-in-Law Sip’s birthday, taking our revelry to Backyard Winery, followed by Township 7 Winery, in Langley. While at Backyard, where we enjoyed a couple bottles of Pinot Gris and charcuterie platters, Mrs. Sip rejoined their wine club now that she’s no longer pregnant and breastfeeding. At Township 7, our group did a wine tasting, while I toured the grounds with Baby Sip, who was visiting the fifth winery of her young life.

Later that week, we enjoyed a meal at EXP Restaurant + Bar. There has been some concern the place will be forced out of business, due to Vancouver’s ridiculous rent prices, so we wanted to visit before anything tragic occured. We ordered a round of Harry Potter-themed cocktails that were all pretty tasty. My favourite was the Gryffindor’s Liquid Courage, thanks to the Jack Daniels Whiskey base. To eat, I ordered the Triforce Burger, which is comprised of a crispy chicken breast, beef burger and bacon. It’s quite the meal, but oh so delicious.

Triforce

Heading into Easter weekend, I picked Mrs. Sip up from work and we enjoyed a drink at Steel & Oak Brewing. The brewery has recently completed renovations to allow for more patrons and the space is much-needed, as the place is often packed. We ordered the Encore collaboration with Yellow Dog Brewing and really enjoyed the beer. That’s really no surprise, as the two breweries are among my favourite in the province.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 16th dating anniversary. We began the occasion by using the Groupon I had purchased for Big City Hunt, which offers scavenger hunts in a number of big cities. Even though we’re locals, we learned some neat things about downtown Vancouver, as we embarked on the two-hour tour, featuring trivia and photo challenges.

The main event of our anniversary was dining at the Top of Vancouver rotating restaurant. We split a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, along with a starter of Baked French Brie and mains of Duck Duo for me and Baked Whole Lobster for Mrs. Sip. The dinner was not cheap, but you’re partly paying for the view, which we enjoyed for over two hours and three full rotations of the restaurant.

Lobster Immortal.jpg

We wrapped our evening out by stopping at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar, where the alluring smell of fresh waffles forced us to investigate further. We split their set of seven Mini Liège Waffles, which provided the perfect dessert to our earlier feast.

The following day, we journeyed back to Langley to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s grandpa’s 93rd birthday at one of his favourite restaurants, Andreas. This place has an amazing menu and I can’t remember not liking any item that I have ordered. On this visit, I combined their French Onion Soup (which may have been the best serving I’ve ever had of the delicacy) with Chicken Fingers and Fries. The meal was decadent and the prices were all very reasonable.

On Easter Sunday, we met with friends at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey. Having eaten recently, Mrs. Sip and I split an order of their Beer Battered Garlic Fries. These paired nicely with our beer selections of Viking Funeral Norwegian Ale for me and Vanilla Bean Porter for Mrs. Sip. Next time we’re out that way, I’d like to try something from their Asian Kitchen menu.

Chows Mane

Afterwards, we were off to Baby Sip’s first drive-in movie experience at Twilight Theatre in Aldergrove. Our films included Ready Player One and Game Night, both of which were enjoyable, despite some inclement weather, including a touch of hail during the shows.

Last, but not least, we also attended three Vancouver Canucks games in the last week, including the emotional final home game for the Sedin twins. This magical night will live long in my memory and Daniel and Henrik deserve every bit of praise they have received since announcing their impending retirements. Thank you to both of them for their 18 years of service, both on and off the ice.

The coming week remains loaded with commitments and activities, which you can read all about in next week’s Sip Trips!

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BC Beer Baron #108 – International Women’s Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

While it’s becoming more and more common to see two breweries combine their collective talents for a beer release, you don’t often see five different entities (Dogwood Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Moody Ales, R&B Brewing, and Big Ridge Brewing) coming together to support women in beer.

That’s what happened with the release of the Kettle Sour Gose at Central City’s Vancouver Brew Pub. Full disclosure: The Sip Advisor isn’t the biggest fan of light sour brews, but I thought this 3.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beverage was actually pretty solid.

International Womens Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

The recipe for this year’s beer was shared around the world and includes organic coriander, sea salt, and Goldings and Magnum hops, resulting in a tart, yet refreshing beverage. $1 from every glass sold will go to the Pink Boots Society, which is working to help women achieve success in the brewing industry, across the globe.

Up until now, I was unfamiliar with this movement, but as long as good beers keep getting put out, all the power to it. My thanks and appreciation goes out to all the ladies out there who play a role in something that I enjoy so much in my life.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #89 – Big Ridge Vanilla Bean Porter

While a Caskival featuring a particular beer type is still tons of fun, one’s palate can sometimes grow weary of tasting similar things. When a group spices things up with different ingredients, that can be amazingly refreshing. That’s exactly what Big Ridge Brewing did with their contribution to the event.

The Vanilla Bean Porter was a welcome change to some of the more traditional fare at the event. Using Bushmill Irish Whiskey in its recipe, the beer was definitely strong, but the vanilla was still able avoid being hidden. Vanilla is quickly becoming a favourite beer flavour of mine, as it is noticeable, but doesn’t overpower any of the beverages I’ve experienced it in.

Big Ridge Brewing

The 5.2% ABV, 34 IBUs offering rallied my senses for the second half of the Caskival event. The beer is an adaptation of the company’s Toll Bridge Vanilla Bean Porter, which is a collaborative effort between Big Ridge and Moody Ales.

Mrs. Sip and I haven’t been to Big Ridge for about a year now, last hitting the brew pub as part of our 13-year dating anniversary (although we’re now married, what’s wrong with celebrating as much as possible) for lunch and some beers, before heading out to play some mini golf at Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford. Now that’s how you remain young at heart!

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

Sip Trips #12: Ales of March

You’d think that with St. Patrick’s Day in the rear-view mirror, the partying would come to a stop, or at least a gradual slowdown. Not so with the Sip Advisor! Last weekend was just as busy, if not more so than the one before and that’s not a bad thing… that’s a good thing!

The weekend got started off on the right note with friends coming over for some drinks and games. I picked up a pack of the St. Ambroise variety collection, as my contribution for guests. This set contained two each of the company’s IPA, Double IPA, Scotch Ale, Blonde Ale, and Oatmeal Stout. I’m still working my way through the case, but have enjoyed the offerings thus far. The Scottish Ale is particularly good and will knock your socks off with its bold flavour.

scottish_drinking_game

On the same shopping trip that I picked up the beer, I finally grabbed the UV Sriracha Vodka I’ve had my eyes on (to be featured in an upcoming Flavour Revolution post). I really like this spirit and have invented a great Cosmopolitan variation, using it and mixing with Cranberry-Lemonade juice. Based on Sriracha’s nickname of Cock Sauce – due to the rooster logo on the bottle, of course – I call my creation the Cock Buster! It was a hit with my guests/customers all weekend.

The booze highlight of the week was Yaletown Brewery’s Ales of March Caskival, which offered samples of 11 different beers for only $22. At the event were breweries from around B.C.’s Lower Mainland region, including Dead Frog, Strange Fellows, Red Truck, Big Ridge, Persephone, Powell Street, Moody Ales, Bridge, and, of course, Yaletown. This Caskival was far less populated than February’s IPA showcase, but that is not a complaint, as we were able to move much more freely and even snagged a table this time around. Mrs. Sip wonders if the Ciderwise event (featuring ciders and gluten-free beers) going on at the same time caused the split audience.

Not content to let Sunday be a day of rest, we went for a leisurely drive out to Port Moody, to visit Yellow Dog Brewing. The place was packed when we arrived, but we managed to get Mrs. Sip a seat at the front bar, while sharing a taster set that included their Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale, Lightly Smoked Pilsner, Shake a Paw Smoked Porter, and Tripel Dog Dare Belgian Tripel. As you can see, Yellow Dog has some of the most creative brew names I’ve come across on the scene. We enjoyed each of the beers, with my personal favourite probably being the Pale Ale. That’s saying something because I usually don’t gravitate towards this type of suds.

beer afternoon

Our mid-week break (who am I kidding, we’re always having fun!) featured a stop at The Winking Judge Pub, where Mrs. Sip and I got to sample some of East Van Brewing’s beer options. I ordered their Wheel Bite IPA, which was a really good drink. Best of all, some proceeds from my purchase went to charity… now that’s the kind of philanthropy I can get down with!

Who knows what this coming weekend has in store, but it certainly has a lot to live up to. With a winery event, housewarming party, WWE WrestleMania, and my and Mrs. Sip’s 13th dating anniversary on the horizon, I can say with some certainty that there will be much to discuss!